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Old 10-15-2013, 09:58 AM   #29
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From what I recall reading on excursion forums, the Ex's were sprung light so they wouldn't have such a harsh ride. The axles, brakes, tires, and tranny were all the same as F-250. Keep in mind, the curb weight on Ex's are large to begin with. It also holds 350 lbs of fuel and the Diesel engine weighs nearly 500lbs more than gas option when you consider 2nd battery, heavier block, turbo, larger radiator, inter cooler, etc.

I think you are overthinking this one. I know, the weight Nazis will jump all over me, I deserve it, but if you aren't driving like Tony Stewart, it will be fine. It is a well built machine and very capable. I forgot to mention that the factory ball joints are junk. They will fail in 60k miles. Put some greasable Moogs in and grease them regularly, they'll last forever.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:38 AM   #30
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Well that kinda parallels one line of my thinking. When we're towing the trailer, there will just be two of us, a couple folding bikes, a folded up kayak, etc. in the truck. Even with the tongue weight of the trailer, we'll be within published gross. We would not be able to stick a couple of the "kids" in there with us......at that time, but we wouldn't anyhow. Those times when we would have any passengers with us, we wouldn't be towing the trailer. It would be parked and we'd be out driving around. We'd trade the 700-800 lbs tongue weight for 350 lbs of passengers. This moves us in the right direction. I can see why figuring things using the max gross on the trailer makes sense, worse case scenario. That produces a built in safety factor. The thing is, after three years the trailer is about as loaded as it's going to get. We don't need to buy anything else for it. We show up with our carry on bags and laptops and buy groceries and away we go. We don't have the scenario where the trailer is parked at the house and we load it up before trips. I've run through a lot of numbers, listing everything we've put in the trailer, and it's got to be running in the 6200-6500 lb. range. Tanks are always empty when towing, essentially. Not for any reason, that's just the wayt it works. It's empty when we pick it up, and I drain it before we leave the campgrounds. The specs on it are:
7600# GVWR • 7600# Axle System • 5764# UBW • 1836# NCC • 770# Hitch Weight

So, it's looking to me like I have a "cushion" of around 200 lbs in the Excursion, and another thousand-twelve hundred in the trailer.

Would the leaf springs from an F-350 fit the Excursion? If it turned out to need some help?

I've got a Reese dual cam hitch for it, too.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:45 PM   #31
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Don't forget the weight of the weight distribution hitch, propane and batteries which is not usually included in the manufacturer's published numbers. Also, when you get that close to max gross, you need to consider the max weight on each axle.

You should add 60lbs for propane, 100lbs for batteries and 60lbs for the hitch
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:47 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
To make it equal to mine, you'll need:

...HD rebuilt tranny...
...3-gauge a-pillar mount...
...exhaust system...
...AIS...
...tow tune...
...TTM...
That was in a post about a SuperDuty, but an Excursion with the 7.3L will need the same mods if it doesn't already have them. Plus if your tranny was rebuilt by someone other than BTS, you'll also need to replace the torque converter with the same Stallion PowerStroke converter that is part of a BTS overhaul.
http://www.converter.com/images/stal...owerstroke.pdf

And replace the stock-size oil-to-air tranny cooler with the much bigger one from a later model 6.0L diesel.

No need to do the mods yourself. Order the right parts, then have a local truck shop in Colorado do the wrenching. Talk to the BTS folks about having a shop in Colorado install their tranny. Or if you opt for the Ford HD4R100, any Ford dealer can probably do the install.

Quote:
In your opinion, is there a vehicle out there with a gasoline engine that would do the job for 15 kilobucks?
Sure. The same vehicles that will do it with a diesel engine, except with a huge gas-gulping engine and 4.10 or shorter axle ratio. Excursion with the V-10 gas engine. Ford or Ram 350/3500 SRW pickup with the V-10 engine. GM 3500 SRW pickup with the humungous 8.+L gasser engine. In the case of the Excursion V-10, you can go up to the last 2006 model produced. For a Ford V10pickup, you go up even newer than that if you can find one within your budget.

But as mentioned earlier, stay away from the 5.4L gas engine in an Excursion or SuperDuty. They're fine for an engine in a grocery getter, but not for towing more than a rowboat.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:16 PM   #33
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2004 Excursion V10

Here's a 2004 Excursion V10 4x4 for $10,000. It's in Miami, so check for rust.

Used Ford Excursion For Sale - CarGurus

Here's another one for $7,000. It's in California, so less chance of rust.
Used Ford Excursion For Sale - CarGurus

There are others available.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:41 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by marcham View Post
Don't forget the weight of the weight distribution hitch, propane and batteries which is not usually included in the manufacturer's published numbers. Also, when you get that close to max gross, you need to consider the max weight on each axle.

You should add 60lbs for propane, 100lbs for batteries and 60lbs for the hitch
I had not included the 60 lbs for the propane and thanks for reminding me. I had included the hitch. I removed the batteries last year. I think they had gotten frozen or something during the winter storage. But that box is empty.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:29 AM   #35
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Here's a 2004 Excursion V10 4x4 for $10,000. It's in Miami, so check for rust.

Used Ford Excursion For Sale - CarGurus

Here's another one for $7,000. It's in California, so less chance of rust.
Used Ford Excursion For Sale - CarGurus

There are others available.
Thanks. And while my heart yearns for 7.3, I can see from everything you've told me that I'm looking at, what, $15K for the truck and then another what, $5-6K to get it to the point where I can tow with it? Well, that doesn't work for me. not with sticking to a 15K budget. Numbers aren't there.

Should I assume all the transmission and cooler issues and diesel tuners and 4" exhaust mods with the 7.3 don't exist with the V-10? And that I could get a reasonable one for around $10K, and start towing with it right away?

So while my heart wants a diesel, my pocketbook says the gasser is a better choice for us. If the difference in mileage between the V-10 and the 7.3 is something like 3 mpg, and we put maybe 2,000 miles a year on it, that translates to something less than 30 gallons of fuel a year difference. I can sure buy a lot of fuel for that $ 10,000.

At $ 3.25 a gallon, with me burning another 30 gallons a year, wouldn't it take me almost a hundred years to break even with the cost of the diesel with mods? And that's a frame with a quarter million miles on it, vs a gasser with 100K.

have I got this right?

And the V-10 is how much lighter?
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:21 AM   #36
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SmokeyWren - Is there anything you don't know? Great info! I hope to have an American oil burner in the future when we move back.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:47 AM   #37
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Should I assume all the transmission and cooler issues and diesel tuners and 4" exhaust mods with the 7.3 don't exist with the V-10?
Here's what I posted for 7.3L mods:
...HD rebuilt tranny...
...3-gauge a-pillar mount...
...exhaust system...
...AIS...
...tow tune...
...TTM...

The X-Car has the same 4R100 tranny, and it's still the weak point in the drivetrain, so you need the same tranny upgrades to make it bulletproof.

You don't need 3 aftermarket gauges, but you still need the tranny temp gauge for 2000 and 2001 models. 2002 and newer have a factory tranny temp gauge, but it's a weird one. Green still means go. But even the tinest bit of yellow means stop and cool off the tranny. Red means your tranny is toast, so bend over and kiss ole hiney goodbuy. And the factory gauge is almost an idiot gauge. It's looks analog, but it's not. It will jump from green to yellow in a heartbeat, and when it goes into the yellow you must be paying attention and shutter down almost immediately if you don't want tranny damage.

You don't need a TTM because the V10 doesn't have a turbo.

I don't know enough about the power and torque of the V-10 to know if you might want a towing tune.

The main purpose of the intake and exhaust mods in a diesel is to allow you to tow a heavier load, or drive faster up the mountain, without busting the 1,250 EGT redline. The common phrase is they "lower EGT". But they don't lower EGT, they simply allow you to use more power without exceeding the EGT redline. So those mods might give you a bit more power, but you're not concerned with EGT in a gasser.

Quote:
And that I could get a reasonable one for around $10K, and start towing with it right away?
Sure. Chances are that you could tow thousands of miles before the tranny went south. If you pay attention to tranny temp and never allow it to exceed 225, then you may not have to replace the tranny for a long time.

Quote:
And the V-10 is how much lighter?
500 to 600 pounds.

In a Y2K model Excursion with 3.73 axle, the diesel has GCWR of 18,000 pounds, and the V10 has GCWR of 17,000 pounds. So the diesel has more towing grunt for gross trailer weight than the V10, and the V10 has more useable payload capacity for hitch weight. The V10 is limited by power and torque to a tow rating of 9,600 pounds with a weight-distributing hitch. The diesel is limited by the weight capacity of the factory receiver hitch to a tow rating of 10,000 pounds with a weight-distributing hitch.

You cannot tow a trailer that weighs 9,600 pounds with either engine, without exceeding the GVWR of the X-Car. But since GVWR (hitch weight) is probably your limiter, you can tow a heavier trailer with the V-10 than with the diesel. If you don't try to haul an SUV full of NFL linebackers while towing your trailer that grosses less than 8,000 pounds with a hitch weight of 1000 to 1200 pounds, either one should do the job without being overloaded.
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Old 10-17-2013, 03:06 PM   #38
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SmokeyWren - Is there anything you don't know?
Oh, certainly. The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know. And I know a lot, so I realize how little I know compared to how much I don't know.

And when it comes to SuperDuty Pickups with the 7.3L engine, I've been studying them and learning about them since the '99 first hit the streets. I ordered a '99.5 and put almost 200,000 miles on it over 12 years. I've been a very active member and moderator on TheDieselStop (and its predecessor, Ford-Diesel.com) since 1999. I did the mods to my 7.3L diesel I've mentioned in this thread, including a BTS tranny with a Stallion PowerStroke torque converter and bigger tranny cooler - installed at 106,000 miles. First mod was full gauges and a TTM. I had an excellent Western Diesel TurboRamAir intake for years, and when it deterioriated I replaced it with the Ford Severe Duty AIS. My exhaust was a Magnaflow 4" turbo-back performance exhaust system. My tuner of choice was Jody Tipton at DP-Tuner and his 80-tow tune for the 7.3L. Dyno results showed 300 HP and 600 torque at the rear wheels, and experience has proven that's without reducing the longevity or reliability of the engine - provided I drove by the pyrometer and never allowed more than 1,250 pre-turbo EGT.

But there's a lot I don't know about GM and Ram tow vehicles. I don't have any shop manuals, towing guides, order guides or spec books for any of the GM or Ram tow vehicles. But I have all those resources for almost all the Ford trucks since 1997.

And I didn't keep up with details concerning the Ford 6.0L, 6.4L, and 6.7L diesels. So all I know about those engines is the general conclusions that the 6.0L was not reliable, the 6.4 drank too much fuel, and the 6.7 so far is a really good engine.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:32 PM   #39
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Would you be kind enough to give me a ballpark estimate of how much I should pay for all those mods, if I found a good deal on a 7.3?

I've been pricing the replacement V/B springs and the sway bar. Not too horrible.
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:10 PM   #40
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Would you be kind enough to give me a ballpark estimate of how much I should pay for all those mods, if I found a good deal on a 7.3?
After working on a detailed reply for about an hour, I see it's going to take all night. HughesNet is very slow tonight. So instead of a detailed answer, I'll give you the ball park you requested.

Gauges, intake, exhaust, multi-position chip with 80-tow tune, TTM, all installed by a truck accessories store, total around $3,000 back in 1999 and Y2K. Make that $4,000 today. Ford HD4R100 tranny installed by a Ford dealer, including new tranny cooler from a 6.0L PowerStroke, $4,000. You can delay replacing the tranny until it begins to show problems, but I wouldn't want to be on a 2,000-mile camping trip without a bulletproof tranny. (Unless you're retired and it's no big deal to be stuck a thousand miles from home for several days while a local Ford dealer replaces your tranny.)
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Old 10-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #41
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Thanks for the numbers. I apologize for all the questions, but this is a fairly substantial hunk of change and I want to get all the advice I can when making a decision.

If I understand correctly, the transmission cost is a risk whether I go with diesel or gasoline engines. The other mods are mostly risks associated with the 7.3 liter diesel version. So if I buy a ten year old Excursion, or F-250/350, I am risking a $4K transmission for a V-10,as compared to a total $8K in mods for a diesel.

If I buy an Excursion, I probably need to figure an additional cost of replacement springs and the addition of a sway bar, no matter which engine choice.

As for being stuck 1000 miles from home waiting for a Ford dealer to install a transmission, that's not so scary. By definition, if I am in that truck we are thousand of miles from home already. Sitting in a campground while Ford works on the truck doesn't bother us much. We're pretty flex that way. Being cruisers, we're accustomed to being stuck in unplanned harbors for days. If the tranny let go early in the vacation we'd just rent a car for a while. IF it happened at the end of the vacation, we'd just call up American Airlines and change our reservations home. I'm retired and she can work anywhere she has internet access. It's a beautiful thing.

Thanks again for all the help. It's still looking like the V-10 Excursion in my best choice, both financially and risk-wise. If I can get one or two seasons towing out of it before having to buy a transmission, so much the better. If I start out with a $10K gasser, even if the worst happens and I need a rebuilt tranny right away, it all falls within my 15K budget.

If I buy the diesel, spending more like $15K up front, then I am risking a lot more financially, for not much more performance or fuel economy. Some, yes, for sure, and I still prefer a diesel, but the numbers say I should go with the gasser. Dang it.

Probably buy an Excursion, put the springs and sway bar in by myself, and in a few years pick up a newer truck. Maybe when the Ecoboosts have been out long enough there are some used ones around, or perhaps the 6.7 eventually.

Sound like a plan?
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Old 10-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #42
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Personally, although the tranny may not be 'bulletproof', i have two friends that have towed for years with their x-car with the std tranny.
I wouldn't be afraid to tow with the std tranny if it's in good condition.
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